Cudgegong Cruisers raise thousands for regional cancer sufferers

Photographers: Col Boyd, B.J's Mobile Photography

BASTARD cancer is the scourge of humankind, and patients in regional areas face additional obstacles that can make an already challenging battle seem all the more difficult.

Huge distances need to be travelled and long stays away from home for treatment and consultation are required at great expense to patients and carers, at a time when they are often unable to work.

But aside from an inherent toughness, people from the bush also tend to have something else on their side when the chips are down – an unwavering sense of community.

Out Mudgee way in Central Western NSW, the Cudgegong Cruisers have been staging an annual event to raise much-needed funds for the local branch of Can Assist for quite some years now.

Can Cruise was coined when a friend of local car enthusiast Glenn Box received amazing help and support during their journey with cancer, and was keen to show their gratitude back to Can Assist. The net funds raised from the 2015 running of the event amounted to $12,250, taking the total monies raised over the past seven years to an incredible $49,250.

This year saw 260 entrants in 136 vehicles (cars and bikes) take up the cause, including a good number of people who travelled from well outside the district to participate. A portion of the takings also went towards assisting a local lad by the name of Hunter McMurtrie, who is engaged in a lengthy medical battle after contracting meningococcal.

Unseasonably chilly weather did little to dampen the air of positivity as a delightfully motley collection of cars gathered in the car park of the local RSL, Club Mudgee. The run took in Windamere Dam, the stunning Bunnamagoo Estate winery, and historic Gulgong, before returning to Club Mudgee for a successful charity auction and a few frothy ones.

“I would like to personally thank Geoff Bartlett from First National Mudgee along with Kellie Gant and the team at Club Mudgee, the team at Bunnamagoo, and the awesome catering team from Can Assist Mudgee branch for being so supportive, generous and flexible with the Cudgegong Cruisers,” said event front-man Glenn Box. “Can Cruise would not have been the success it was without your help”.